Belmont men’s basketball coach Rick Byrd grabbed his 773rd career win following Saturday’s victory over Morehead State, placing him 15th on the NCAA career wins list.
On Jan. 27 after the men’s victory over SIU Edwardsville, Byrd surpassed former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who had earned 770 career wins.
But for Byrd, records never enter into his thinking.
“I honestly had no idea about that until someone mentioned it to me after the game,” Byrd said. “One day I may look back and have greater perspective on those type of things, but right now I’m simply focused on this season and our current team.”
Byrd, who tallied the bulk of his career wins over his 32-year tenure coaching the Bruins, attributes much of the program’s success to Belmont’s administration and athletic department.
“Any growth or progress our basketball program has made is more broadly about the Belmont University leadership — first Dr. Gabhart, then Dr. Fisher,” Byrd said. “And our athletic department leadership — most notably Mike Strickland over that time.”
“I have simply tried to establish and reinforce basic principles about the student-athlete experience at Belmont.”
With an 11-1 conference record so far this season, it seems like a conference tournament championship may be within the team’s grasp — an accomplishment that has shockingly escaped the Bruins for two years in a row.
Byrd, however, is just taking it one game at a time.
“Honestly, our team is not focused on any of that right now. We simply want to continue to improve each day, get healthy, and play our best basketball the first week of March,” he said.
“Control what we can control.”
Written by Steven Boero.